A media centre for bloggers and videographers without official press credentials for the 2010 Winter Olympics will be open throughout the Games in the heart of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside neighbourhood.

W2 Culture and Media House, an updated heritage building across the street from the Woodward’s redevelopment project, will provide fully wired editing suites and free wireless connection to the Internet (WiFi) for “citizen journalists” working with online media outlets from around the world as well as anyone else who wants to post video, photos and commentaries on their own homepages or on sites found on YouTube, Flickr, Facebook and MySpace.

VANOC, the city’s Olympics organizing committee, set up media centres on the Vancouver waterfront for those who have exclusive rights to broadcast live in their own country and for a limited number of additional media outlets. The B.C. government has put together a second media centre at Robson Square in downtown Vancouver for broadcast and print media that could not be accommodated in the official media centre. Both centres require journalists to register and receive appropriate credentials before using the facilities.

The social-media centre on West Hastings Street will be for those who cannot go into the Olympics-sanctioned media centres, Irwin Oostindie, executive director of W2 Community Media Arts, said in an interview. Even some athletes with blogs who may not have the appropriate press credentials could use the centre, he said.

Read More: By Robert Matas, Vancouver Globe and Mail

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